For laboratories building a digital transformation wish list, the adoption of immersive technologies like extended reality is often near the top of the list. Extended reality is an umbrella term that encompasses technologies like virtual reality (a totally immersive experience), augmented reality (which adds digital elements to a live view), and mixed reality (which blends elements of both AR and VR, allowing physical and digital objects to co-exist and interact in real-time).
Thermo Fisher Scientific continues to invest in immersive technologies to help drive the digital transformation of the laboratory. Thermo Scientific™ SampleManager™ XR software is a dedicated Microsoft™ HoloLens™ device app, providing a new interface to Thermo Scientific™ SampleManager LIMS™ software features. The app can be downloaded from the Microsoft store and is compatible with SampleManager LIMS software version 12.3 and newer.
What is SampleManager XR software?
SampleManager XR software uses extended reality technology coupled with Microsoft HoloLens headset, enabling scientists to access SampleManager LIMS software in previously inaccessible areas of the lab. Organizations rely on laboratory software like SampleManager LIMS to support and maintain regulatory compliance, reducing the vast amounts of paper required to demonstrate process adherence, and driving quality and data integrity by eliminating errors through manual transcription.
Using LIMS, lab analysts can refer to standard operating procedures (SOPs) and document actions as they happen. But what happens when it’s not possible to access the LIMS as work is performed? Perhaps a PPE requirement prevents the analyst from accessing the LIMS, or the work is performed in a clean room environment or a fume cupboard or biosafety cabinet. Without access to the LIMS, notes could be lost or incorrectly transcribed, and observations could be forgotten. The inability to record actions as they happen leads to inaccuracy and a loss of data integrity.
With SampleManager XR software, scientists have hands-free access to the LIMS through the mixed reality headset. The solution provides access to the lab execution system in SampleManager LIMS where it’s previously not been possible, enabling analysts to see method instructions displayed within their field of vision as they work. The solution supports automatic instrument readings, dictation, and optical character recognition (OCR), enabling analysts to accurately capture data in real-time. Any changes to data are recorded for traceability. SampleManager XR also enables capture of video and images as evidence of correct method execution. The solution supports mixed reality training, helping labs can reduce deviations.
SampleManager XR software is designed with the latest Microsoft Hololens technology. For secure and personalized access, the software uses iris recognition technology for user authentication. Once authenticated, the analyst is presented with a personalized to-do list of work for the day. Work is performed hands-free, using voice and gaze activation to navigate the system.
The solution can integrate with laboratory instruments, capturing values directly from instruments such as balances or pH meters, with limit checking ensuring that instructions are accurately followed. Data can also be captured through dictation or OCR.
SampleManager XR software connects to the lab execution system in SampleManager LIMS, which stores all the SOPs the lab has to follow in an electronic format. The software is pre-configured with seven of the most used methods, helping labs get up and running with the LES and SampleManager XR software.
Data is captured in real time within SampleManager LIMS software, fulfilling the requirements around compliance and data integrity. Signatures are captured and stored electronically. For processes involving hazardous substances, warnings are flagged to the operator to ensure they are aware.
Improving the scientists’ experience
Attracting and retaining scientific talent remains top-of-mind for most lab managers. Extended reality technology can help improve the scientists’ experience, making their work easier and eliminating manual or time-consuming tasks.
Extended reality provides several real-world benefits to scientists. Application of extended reality technology enables remote working and promotes hands-on learning. Consider labs with limited instrumentation or equipment for training. Using extended reality technology, it’s possible to have numerous people train on a virtual system. This application would also eliminate waste of consumables and reagents.
For more complex procedures, extended reality technology can guide scientists as they work. Video content, pictures, and detailed instructions can be shown as the procedure is completed. Holographic overlays can also be used to help guide scientists. This type of guidance is especially valuable for tasks that are performed infrequently, or procedures that produce the highest number of deviations.
SampleManager XR software is integrated with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist™ to allow operators to get real time assistance from SMEs, who can see exactly what the user sees and can advise accordingly.
Enabling scientists to achieve their goals using innovative technologies can improve the scientists experience, while also providing clear benefits to the lab and the organization.
Access the lab of the future today
To learn how extended reality (XR) technology helps drive laboratory productivity and data integrity, visit our SampleManager XR software website.